History of the Christ Church Plot
Historic Christ Church in New Brunswick, N.J. was organized in 1742. The land on which it sits was leased to the church by Philip French for 2000 years, at a cost of “one peppercorn per year.”
The first church was torn down in 1852, and the present larger building constructed in its place. The church steeple, built in 1773, is the only portion of the original structure that survives.
The third reading of the Declaration of Independence took place in the shadow of the church in 1776. The first organizing meeting of the new Episcopal Church was held here in 1784, as was the organizing convention for the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey.
Throughout its history parish membership included important local figures with national significance (such as American poet Joyce Kilmer and the Johnson and Johnson brothers). It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The earliest documented burial in the Christ Church graveyard is of Catherine Harrison who died at the age of 2 in 1754. Her well preserved headstone is near the west side of the cloister.
The oldest person buried here is Dinah (1760?-1866). She is believed to have been a slave of the Dore family. Her headstone is near the Neilson St. fence on the east side of the graveyard.
Brigadier Gen. Anthony Walton White served as and aide-de-camp to George Washington in the American Revolution. His grave site is near the door to the sanctuary.
Civil War officers Adm. Charles Stuart Boggs (1811-1888) and his son, Lieut. Robert Morris Boggs (1842-1862) are buried on the west side of the graveyard. Robert Boggs died during the Civil War in Harrison’s Landing, VA.
Other Notable People Buried At Christ Church
Episcopal Church notables buried in the graveyard at Christ Church include the Reverend Abraham Beach (1740-1828). Rector of Christ Church from 1767 to 1784, his grave lies within the iron fence near the cloister, along with the graves of his daughter Hannah Rattoone (1770-1848) and grandson Isaac Lawrence (1811-1811).
John Croes (1762-1832), rector of Christ Church from 1801 to 1832 and first Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey, is buried beneath the altar in the sanctuary, but the grave of his wife, Martha is near a walkway on the west side of the church.
Captain Isaac Fisher (1791-1871), commander of a steam boat on the Raritan River, is buried near Neilson St. The grave of New Brunswick treasurer and alderman Henry Blumer (1813-1890) lies in the area to the north of the church, one of the many stones that age and weather have made difficult to read.
Help Maintain the Garden & Graveyard
Those who wish to contribute to the upkeep of the garden and graveyard may send their contributions to the address below, or use our PayPal donation widget to donate directly.
Christ Church New Brunswick
5 Paterson Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1204
Make checks payable to Christ Church New Brunswick and note that your donation is for The Churchyard.
Donations are much appreciated.
Photos, Maps and Listings
- Photos of the gravestones available for browsing or download
- Christ Church graves map (dated September 2, 2012) shows the location of graves
- Christ Church Graveyard Spreadsheet provides the name and dates taken for the headstones
- Christ Church Episcopal Churchyard site is a comprehensive index of the internments; part of the Find A Grave website.